Northern Mendocino County is the place for real wineries, those who represent the best of the industry, unadulterated by “progress” and invitingly “undiscovered.”
Tempting, gorgeous, Indian-summer vistas of the most incredible hues and shades imaginable must inevitably capitulate to the spooky shrieks of Halloween and the long-fingered, cool mists of a lumbering Fall. About this time, out among the rolling hills, the wineries of northern Mendocino County are gearing up for autumn festivities, the force of which will quickly dispel any lingering depression about the fading summer and instill a new vigor for life. After all, there is so much to be thankful for among the 84 wineries and 334 winegrape growers of Northern Mendocino County.
After decades of struggle and obscurity, Mendocino winemakers and grape growers are finally enjoying a period of prosperity. In the early days, since Napa and Sonoma Valleys had better access to shipping ports, Mendocino wine makers—nestled in the hills of Mendocino with only the railroad as a connection to the outside world—struggled, then nearly dried up during Prohibition. “Only the efforts of the Parducci family in Ukiah kept wine being made in Mendocino County in the difficult post-Prohibition years from 1933 until the 1960s.” (See History of Mendocino Wine Making.) As wine improves with age, however, so these hardships conditioned the Mendocino industry for greatness, forcing it to improve its skill at providing delectable tastes to discriminating palettes that are now eagerly sought by a worldwide market. In fact, Mendocino wine is now considered some of the best in the world.
On top of that, Parducci (See Sustainable Wine-Growing Practices.) and other Mendocino wine makers are setting the standard for “green wines,” in other words, wines that use grapes grown without pesticides and that employ other environmentally friendly practices. “Bonterra Vineyards, below Ukiah, has been farming organically since 1987 (See Organic Practices.) and now farms one of their ranches, McNab, biodynamically. (See Biodynamic Practices.) Their red blend is nicely balanced and tastes very good.” (See Reporter’s Notes: The Politics of Green Wine.) These factors—worldwide popularity at no expense to the environment—combine to provide much cause for celebration!
For instance, Fall festivities commence with the “Wine and Mushroom Festival,” a wine fair stretching from Nov. 6th to the 15th, where “Mushroom dinners, wine and beer pairing workshops, musical performances, exhibits, and guided mushroom walks are among the activities scheduled. Many restaurants are celebrating the season with special mushroom dishes featured daily. Inns throughout the county are offering special packages with themed amenities.” (See Wine & Mushroom Festival.)
Just in time for Thanksgiving, wine lovers can take advantage of a two-day holiday sale where wines of Redwood Valley are sold at a huge discount so you can stock up for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Additionally, local Mendocino artists will have their works on display and available for purchase. “It will truly be a great weekend to put you in the holiday mood.” (See Directions from Super8Ukiah to Redwood Valley.)
Remember to check for room availability at Super8Ukiah Reservations.